Your article last week predicting victory for Australia in the 1954 Challenge Round for the Davis Cup leads me to one immediate conclusion. You are either the greatest swami in the world or you have been reading, with deep attention, Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.
You say that Australia will win with a greater margin than last year if your players' form holds true. I have been looking at the record and I can find no basis for such a statement. Of the four major championships in the world this past year—Wimbledon, the U.S., the Australian and French—your two singles representatives, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall, won none. Vic Seixas, on the other hand, won the U.S. and Tony Trabert took the French title. The only major title you hold, the Australian, was won by Mervyn Rose, and he will be warming the bench at Sydney when the Challenge Round is played.
STRONGER THAN LAST YEAR?
Analyzing the over-all situation as the Cup play opens, it's hard to see why you believe that Australia's position today is stronger even than last year. At that time Hoad had won three major singles titles in which Americans played. You had the two best doubles teams in the world. The U.S. was forced to struggle along with an unproved doubles combination. Our team was edgy and far from its best playing form, irked and irritated by minor incidents.
How does it look this year? To me it seems the shoe is on the other foot. Let's face it, Harry—the problems are back all right, but this time they're your problems.
The Australian press, for one thing, is firing broadsides again—but this time at the Australian camp instead of the American; and it's sparing nobody, firing at the players, at yourself as captain, and at the selectors.
You've got player problems too. Your biggest ones would seem to be Hoad's inconsistency and Hartwig's feeble resistance against Rosewall, which prompted the Melbourne Argus to call it "a laughing performance." Defeat definitely eliminated him as a singles contender.
Let's take a closer look at some of your statements and see how they stand up under the searching light of the record.